It’s hard to get too upset people. I mean it’s kinda right there in the title.
“Dumb and Dumber To” stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as a couple of junior high mentality nitwits once again on a madcap journey together, this time to find an estranged child who could possibly donate a kidney. The movie follows the first Dumb and Dumber 20 years later and attempts to erase the other follow up “Dumb and Dumberer” from our minds by providing a true sequel with the original stars and director back in charge of the ship. I can just hear the pitch meeting now, “Hey, how dare they ruin our movie with a lame sequel, that’s our job!”
Not that the whole thing is a waste, there is certainly laughter to be had here. If you loved the stupid sense of humor in the first, there is certainly plenty of that still on display, with infantile jokes and one liners just waiting to be quoted. But they don’t come often enough and we are left just watching a couple dim bulbs try to navigate life the best they can. Not that I blame the actors. In fact, I loved seeing Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back in these roles. When the movie worked it was because they sell these characters completely, fully comfortable playing the imbecile and dropping any actorly pretense or pride. It’s important that Lloyd and Harry are still the same moronic people we knew 20 years ago and Jim and Jeff make sure we believe it, painting them as Jr. Highers who refuse to evolve no matter how much time goes by.
And though I’m glad the characters haven’t evolved, movie making has, and that’s where things really start to fall apart. It just feels like a movie made about 15 years too late. If this movie gets released in 1998 I think it does gangbusters! We didn’t have the same expectations of sequels back then. No one was surprised when the second Ace Ventura movie was kinda lame, and it went on to be a modest hit anyway. Today though, sequels are expected to up the ante and directors have learned how to tell franchise stories, finding storytelling nuances to keep us engaged. But here we just get a basic lame 90s sequel and it just feels like a movie out of its time. The result is that the pacing feels slow and many of the jokes just feel dated. Even references to the original seem misused, merely repeated without any kind of creative spark stealing them of any chance to feel fresh. Also it may just be me, but much of the humor feels more vulgar and even meaner than the first, which in my mind misses the whole point of what made the first movie so endearing. We loved these characters despite them being complete imbeciles. But here they are just as much jerk as moron, and that didn’t quite sit right with me.
At the end of the day, Dumb and Dumber To is a valid attempt at revisiting a classic comedy. There are enough laughs that it’s not a complete waste of time, but all out performances by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels can’t quite overpower the lack of any fresh ideas and a misfired tone. I give it a C